Focus on the Family celebrated on Sept. 12 with the announcement that its lawsuit against a Florida bus company, over ex-gay ads that the company refused to post in February 2000, would go back to court.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — the same court
that this summer ruled against Alabama Chief Justice Roy
Moore in his Ten Commandments battle — found that a lower
court judge was wrong to throw out Focus’ lawsuit against
the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA).
Unfortunately, Focus on the Family employs a selective defense of the First Amendment.
“This is a great victory — not just for us, but for the
Constitution,” said Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family’s
vice president of public policy. “With the many examples
of judicial tyranny we routinely see across the country,
it is nice to be involved in a case in which a court
upholds the integrity of the First Amendment.”
It claims a First Amendment right for itself to advertise in government-run facilities, but opposes the right of gay-tolerant organizations to advertise in public or private venues — or even to appear on CNN.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation has been demanding equal time for gay-tolerant voices on CNN’s Larry King Live after the talk show host permitted Focus on the Family co-founder James Dobson to spend a full hour (transcript) describing gay people as a threat to families, faith and civilization. GLAAD says this was Dobson’s fourth appearance on Larry King Live in two years.
Focus on the Family responded to the equal-time demand by falsely accusing GLAAD of attempted censorship. The Family Research Council, where Dobson is a board member, supports Focus with a letter-writing campaign praising CNN for airing one-sided coverage.
AP ran a story Sept. 12 on the Florida bus-ad lawsuit. The story seems to quote solely from Focus on the Family sources; no one from the transit authority, ad firm, or gay-rights organizations is quoted.